A dejected Kevin Nicholson told the local press of his disappointment after watching his Torquay United side lose 4-2 at home to Boreham Wood on Tuesday night.

The visitors took the lead through Angelo Balanta before Bruno Andrade doubled their lead. Ruairi Keating scored twice in the second half to draw the Gulls level, but two sloppy goals from Shaun Jeffers and substitute Bradley Sach completed United’s misery.

“I’m a little bit embarrassed and I feel let down by the players tonight,” said the player-manager. “I understand there being a few nerves after what happened on Saturday. You’re not going to win games of football if you give away goals like we’ve given away today. We’ve quite literally given them four, if it wasn’t for ‘Clarkey’ [Ryan Clarke] in goal we would have given them more.

“In the first half we started well and got on the front foot and then for some reason, because we didn’t score, we went back into our shells and that’s just not acceptable. I expect this group, and I’ve said it on Saturday and I’ll say it again now, they will do well. To do well, they have to go out and show it, they have to be men. I’ve brought experience in for that exact reason.

“Of course, it’s a loss not having ‘Gowls’ [Josh Gowling] in there. It showed against Tranmere just how good a player he was. It shouldn’t be that big of a difference. There’s other people that need to step up and take that mantel. Fortunately, Gowls isn’t going to be out for a great deal longer.”

Nicholson did reserve some praise for United goalkeeper Ryan Clarke, who, not for the first time this season, was one of the Gulls’ best players on the night, with a performance that included a brilliant penalty save in the second half.

“I’m going to have a hard job picking the team on Saturday, because other than Clarkey, not many of them particularly deserve to play. He was probably my Man of the Match today. I’d argue he could have been Man of the Match in all the games we’ve played.”

“The rest of it isn’t acceptable. These lads don’t have long to show that they’re the answer. As angry as I am, as frustrated as I am, as embarrassed as I am, I’m telling people and I might probably sound stupid, but this team will be successful. They will win games, they will have more highs than lows this season and give it a month and hopefully this night will be a distant memory. They need to start learning, man up and get on with things pretty quickly.”